Sunday, August 8, 2021

At the selfie museum

August 2021

When I look up “signature style,” I find a site to show me the best signature for my name. But my name has nothing to do with it, except as a marker of the signature style these prose blocks trace, not in fraktur or in all caps, or even with the S as a silent treble clef. I could break the lines again, fracturing thought like a fibia, or put in power point diagrams, all clunky squares and captions. But there’s still something to think through, and this the through street, not Walter Benjamin’s “one way street,” though his “one way” was code for every which. The prose block is not image, unless it’s “still yet moving,” like the bridge. Nor is it TikTok: not so entertaining as two men dancing in a street for 10 seconds. What I hear outside begins as a cow’s moo and modulates into machinery. A tiny white-eye lands on the gardenia. Lilith chased so hard after pheasants I had to run behind her on the loop. Feed back loops of excruciating sound tended toward abstraction as an escape route. Leave the muck to the lotus. Then, at about the time I left the dark wood, the loop slowed. “I'm just back dated.” Out of an imagined google satellite rush-to-earth came the still photograph. A friend says each photograph seems to contain a story, but I think of them as stories lacking verbs. What moves is the clock between walks around the loop; 12 or 24 hours in unseen cinematography. The narrative is all off-stage. What we’re left with are chairs set down on plywood, one day a circle, and another a square, when the triangle’s out of town. A vow, a vowel, a noun, a mnemonic. Hard sometimes to remember the words that go with images. So let them be set apart, like fluted vases filled with mountain grass. Or go to the selfie museum and choose your booths. One of them is called Zen; in it, sushi plates are covered in gray sand. You can push the sand around in your selfie. I suggested she go to take her friends’ photographs; more subversive that way. But perhaps a bit too other-y, don’t you think?

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